Have you ever been held captive by an enemy who oppressed, controlled or manipulated you and found yourself frustrated because you couldn’t win the victory over them? I know I have.
Think back across your life for a minute and recall how many times you have found yourself powerless in a situation where someone was making you miserable. As you look back, consider for a moment how many of the people who made you miserable were physically or mentally more powerful than you.
Although there probably are a few situations you can recall from the past where you encountered a superior enemy, there likely have been many more times when the person who tormented you was someone you could’ve overtaken intellectually, physically, or both, but circumstances prevented you from doing so resulting in tremendous frustration and disappointment.
If this is a scenario you are familiar with, you can take comfort in the fact you are far from alone. I know this to be true because I hear stories of this nature all the time. I hear it on my job, from my friends, from family members and in conversations I overhear coming from the mouths of people I don’t even know.
It’s true within my own life as well. I have many enemies who rejoice at making me miserable as is the case for each and every one of us. Although it is difficult to understand how these situations can exist in such a widespread manner, it is totally possible to understand these things if one carefully examines them in a spiritual sense.
Something we often fail to recognize is that we are all engaged in a war, a war for our eternal souls. The enemy we are fighting is Satan. He is powerful, so powerful the Bible identifies him in 2nd Corinthians 4:4 as the “god of this world.”
In a military conflict, each side targets the weapons of the enemy in an attempt to win the victory. When war is being waged, the military assets that represent the greatest threat are targeted for destruction first. Whether you know it or not, in spite of our human weaknesses, each one of us represents a credible threat to Satan, a threat he is determined to destroy. As such, we are all going to be attacked—repeatedly.
I often tell people Satan is a smooth operator. His tactics in battle are fantastically effective. He studies his enemies with great enthusiasm, learns every person’s character and their weaknesses, then utilizes all the information he gathers to plan his attacks. Once he has gathered enough information to know his enemy, he formulates a plan and strikes with great precision, rarely missing his target.
We are told in Ephesians 6:12: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
Although we often fail to recognize it, behind the faces of our human enemies lies the true enemy, Satan, who works within them to destroy us. In many instances our enemies, blinded by Satan, don’t even know why they hate us and seek to make us miserable. Because their eyes are totally closed to spiritual things, they have no idea they are Satan’s pawns in the things they do on his behalf.
Christians are such a threat to Satan’s plan to rule the world those under his influence have a natural tendency to dislike Christians and to persecute them. The good news is we’re in great company when the unrighteous hate us and do everything within their power to torture us. The world didn’t like Christ Himself! Jesus was so despised while He was in the world His enemies nailed Him to a cross and crucified Him. Should Christians therefore be depressed or feel alone when people treat them badly? Absolutely not! We are told to rejoice in these situations!
Jesus said in Matthew 5:11-12: “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Christians, we need to be patient. Although we may feel beaten down and defeated at times, the moment of our victory is at hand. The Lord is soon coming to deliver judgment against our enemies and their master, Satan. Until then, let your enemies rejoice in making you miserable, let them triumph over you and ascend to positions of authority over you with rejoicing, let them mock your faith in Jesus, let them have their moment of triumph here in this world—fully knowing the victory is yours through Jesus Christ!
1 John 5:5: “Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”
The victories of our enemies should be tolerated because they are temporary at best. How do we know? Jesus Christ has told us He is coming back to judge this world. When he does, none of our enemies shall escape His judgment. Consider the following Scriptures:
Romans 14:11: “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.”
Proverbs 25:21-22: “If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.”
Psalm 68:2: “As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God.”
Psalm 37:20: “But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.”
Psalms112:10: “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.”
Proverbs 10:28: “The hope of the righteous shall be gladness: but the expectation of the wicked shall perish. “
If you’re reading this and you’re not a Christian, Satan is set against you as well. He wants to see Christians fall from favor with God, he wants to see you enter into eternal damnation with him. He doesn’t want you to learn the benefits of a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Satan will set himself against any effort you make toward a relationship with Jesus and will show you every possible alternative path in order to keep you from finding salvation. If you’re reading this and have ever felt a need to go to church, read your Bible, or ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins. You need to heighten your awareness of spiritual warfare. The reason you’re struggling to do the right thing is because Satan is distracting you at every turn.
If you know there’s a God and He is the Master of the universe, why should you not bow your knee to Him and ask His Son, Jesus Christ, to forgive you and be your Savior this very day?
If you should die this day without Jesus Christ in your life, your next place of residence will be in an eternal hell from which there is no hope of rescue or escape. Don’t place yourself in such peril. Every day you live in this world without Jesus, you’re one day closer to eternity. It isn’t a risk you should take. Jesus Christ is waiting to hear from you today.
If you ask Him to, He’ll hear your cry for forgiveness and accept you into the family of God, He’ll heal your life and bring you joy, He’ll grant you eternal life in a place beyond your wildest dreams, and He’ll show you the true meaning of victory. Although the road to heaven is a challenging one, the reward is worth it.
Those who overcome Satan and the world will reign with Christ for 1000 years on the resurfaced earth beginning at the end of the Tribulation period.
Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
At the end of 1000 years, those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ will be tried and sentenced to hell, but those who’ve accepted Him will enter into eternity with Him.
Revelation 22:5: “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”